Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday in Kaduna state alluded to a former Nigerian president who reversed a standing ban on importation of toothpick without reading the document. He however did not name the former president.
The former leader was speaking at a seminar organised by the The Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) to flag off the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair. He blamed Nigeria’s woes on those in power, some of whom he said “lack focus, commitment, and sometimes proper knowledge about economic and development issues”.
“Nigerian leaders must be tough and ready to bite the bullet, because Nigeria cannot have it easy and until we get the right leadership, the problem will continue,” he said.
“Some leaders lack focus, commitment, and continuity, hence we have not been able to achieve meaningful result.”
“One of the presidents that came after me, I won’t mention his name, unbanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga (a native attire) and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the president told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it,” he said.
Ekekeee findings show the president Obasanjo was referring to is Goodluck Jonathan. In September 2016, Obasanjo blamed Jonathan for Nigeria’s then recession (which has yet to recede).
At the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta last September, Obasanjo blamed Jonathan for Nigeria’s recession.
Obasanjo, who was the Father of the Day at the opening session, said he had warned the former President on the impending recession in November 26, 2014 when he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
“I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning. that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget… Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
Reporting on that event, Daily Trust stated; “Obasanjo shocked the gathering when he recalled how it was discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, saying he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.”
The former president blamed Jonathan for lifting the ban on importation of products like toothpick, which he said could have been taken over by local industries without encumbrances.